Based on articles at CMS Watch as well as discussions with users, it has become pretty common within the Documentum user base to see software audits within the last year. Every client has different applications, license agreements and usage. We think it would be useful for all readers to get some quick tips from our experience with different clients on software audits.
Tip 1 – Get an understanding, better yet, an agreement with the vendor about what you own now before the audit.
Having been involved in Documentum purchases since 1995, it is easy to understand how different products (anyone out their remember SmartSpace or the Marketing Asset Manager?) were bought under different agreements. Typical clients don’t review their purchases or upgrade the licenses to cover newer products and licensing models every year as maintenance comes due. Many long-term Documentum users can be frustrated trying to understand what they currently own due to:
- Changes in Company purchasing resources and vendor sales representatives
- Changes in software licensing models
- Uncoordinated departmental purchases
- Company mergers and divestures activity
In many cases, neither the company nor vendor know exactly what they own nor how it relates to current software usage, licensing and maintenance. An annual review and agreement with the vendor will help make better maintenance and purchasing decisions as well as help both parties come to a mutual agreement about how the software is currently used, licensed and maintained.
Tip 2 – No more anonymous access
Back in the early days (before Web Cache) developers would write applications or build custom web pages leveraging the guest/guest user access for world read to allow things like approved documents to be easily available on a corporate web site to non-Documentum users. Customers had “User” licensing and would count guest as one user-id. As Documentum has moved to “Named User” licensing, companies should look to leverage Site Caching Services to publish this type of content out of Documentum to be more compliant with licensing agreements. Added benefits include increased performance and business continuity. We recently updated a whitepaper on a consumer interface that addresses these points.
Tip 3 – Define “Application”
Companies should understand that the license term “Named User per application” is not the same as “Named User”. Webtop would typically count as one application but a custom connector from SAP that launches a custom application would count as another application despite the same user leveraging both tools. The logical question, “What if the SAP application launches Webtop? Is that a new application (the launching tool) or the same application (Webtop)? “ It can be particularly difficult for clients that thought they purchased Documentum with “Named User” defined “for Webtop and any custom application”. In reviewing their licensing model, Companies should have a clear understanding of Application, Server (as it relates to Virtual Servers), CPU (Dual and Quad) and other terms that are sometimes tricky to tie to software licenses and have evolved over time.
Tip 4 – Check on user access
This one is slightly tricky but companies should understand that a user having the ability to use the system function versus actually using the function requires the same license requirement. For example, if a user has the ability to leverage annotation services, they will probably need a license for the service whether they use it or not. Companies should manage user’s access to components that require license, not just their usage.
Tip 5 – Leverage all of your EMC Purchases
While buying Doucmentum software is different than buying and VMWare or EMC Hardware, companies have been very successful in creating an overall EMC purchasing plan. As with Tip 1, an understanding with overall EMC of what you own and what you are purchasing can only help EMC better forecast and respond to customer requests.
Overall, the audit is generally not that scary and we (TSG) have had plenty of clients that have survived with minimal business interruption through proper planning, a good understanding of their current and future usage of Documentum and a good relationship with EMC. Please feel free to contact us for additional information.